Friday, December 02, 2022

Killing of journalists is an insult to humanity

Government and civil institutions have a great responsibility to act to prevent attacks against journalists, of which a large number of journalists have been killed around the world this year.

Faced with the terror unleashed by mafias and the repression of undemocratic governments, it is essential to be alert to signs of intimidation, protecting the right to inform and be informed as one of the fundamental values ​​of any society .

Investigative journalism, by its very nature, is often a prime target of retaliation. The balance of journalists killed in the last twelve months in the American hemisphere could fill a newsroom with martyrs.

In particular, as a result of the disintegration of the state subject to drug trafficking and other mafia powers, many Mexican and Haitian lives have been lost, but also those of other countries who have seen their informants fall. Some of those crimes have been completely solved.

The list of journalists killed this year has reached more than 40 professionals in ten countries in the Americas: 20 in Mexico, 8 in Haiti, 3 in Honduras and Colombia, 2 in Ecuador, and one each in Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay and one one. United States of america. , each.

The reasons are varied. In Mexico, sieges have dominated newspapers, radio or digital programs denouncing crimes linked to the underworld, which has also led to the murder of at least one radio journalist in Paraguay and one television journalist in Chile.

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In other cases, such as the British informant Dom Phillips, who was murdered along with Brazilian indigenous activist Bruno Pereira, the attacks come from gangs dedicated to the plundering of natural resources. Investigating environmental crimes has become a very high-risk activity. And in the Amazon, where Phillips was killed, these crimes extend in all directions and against all types of resources.

In Haiti, a country engulfed in complete chaos, pretty much all businesses and businesses are suffering. However, journalists are consistently silenced by brutal methods, often torture. On November 9, the Caribbean country became the eighth journalist killed this year, Fritz Dorillas, who worked for a radio station and was gunned down by gangs ravaging the country. Barely nine days earlier, another journalist from a digital media outlet had died during a protest demanding the release of a colleague, and around the same time authorities reported the discovery of a radio journalist’s body.

It is shocking to know that these fatal accidents happen only a few miles from Puerto Rico. In the 21st century, we are unable to stop the horrors that not only informers suffer, but also the starving population, including the elderly and children, who throw themselves into the sea to escape in the worst of circumstances. Don’t want to throw it away.

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Returning to the threats facing media workers in general, it is necessary for all countries in the Americas to be more vigilant than ever, bearing in mind that drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime generally create a hostile environment. are triggers. Information To the extent that the mafia feel surrounded by media scrutiny and revelations, they will try to silence journalists, which has been frequent in Mexico and for some time in Haiti.

You can’t ignore even the slightest attempt to coerce a journalist, because then you run the risk of falling prey to the insecurities that journalists from other countries in the region face.

The Inter-American Press Association (SIP) this year awarded the Grand Prize for Press Freedom to the large number of journalists killed in the line of duty in Mexico. With this tribute, IAPA makes an energetic call to end the siege of impunity in the killings of all journalists.

We join in paying tribute to the fallen journalists, most of them too young, to reaffirm solidarity and support for those who persevere in the act of reporting, even at risk to their own lives. By putting

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